In Hue, the pub boss doesn’t drive a big BMW. He takes care of matters in the backpacker district on foot. The barmaids in his pubs welcome him in formation, and apologize rich in gesture.
It’s already past the happy hour and there is nothing going on. The whole area is deserted. The pub boss snarls:
The godamn festival…
Hue Festival 2012 in Vietnam
Not only the tourists disregard the pubs today. All of Hue is on their feet, to celebrate with dances and music for a week. Even 2 year-old children are dragged to the huge stages at and inside the Perfume River. There is drinking, eating, laughing and watching.
A huge, 3km long strip on both sides of the river is turned into festival grounds, every 2 years. Dancing chorus and music groups come from all over Asia, France, Belgium, Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Argentina, Australia and Russia.
stage inside the river
“Well”, I think to myself after 2 days at the huge community shows at the Perfume River. “The organizers should be sent to look at the King Narai festival in Thailand.” “That’s, how to do it.”
I’m so cheap, it takes 2 days, before buying a $3 ticket for the main shows in the ancient Citadel. Once I’m inside, I run around with a gaping mouth through a magic kingdom all night and try to stop time.
Citadel in Hue
The Citadel in Hue is exactly what you wish the forbidden city in Beijing to be. The former seat of Vietnamese emperors is also known as the Forbidden City, but ashames its model in Beijing.
Within the massive walls on 2km², you can find landscaped gardens, palaces, plazas, lakes and pagodas. Everything was restored after the Indochina wars. The French have destroyed the citadel and the Americans have bombed it into the ground.
In this spectacular historic setting, music and dance performances, exhibitions, fashion shows and banquets take place every evening. There are stages, beer and food stalls and even a chamber for chamber music.
The great imperial grounds are decorated with a huge effort and turned into a sea of lights. It is a beautiful magical garden that invites you to perdition. It’s like the King Narai festival in Thailand all over again, but in a gigantic scale.
one of the many stages
In order to not only revel in praise:
Southeast Asian music sounds even more soft flushed than the Gotthilf Fischer choirs.
The organization is Asian: Events are 1 hour late or early (!) Or not at all, or somewhere else.
A proper food market, like at any Thai festival, is missing unfortunately.
The Perfume River smells, but not of perfume.
the fashion show is a crowd puller
I’ve been rushing through Vietnam restlessly, after I first heard about the Hue Festival in Saigon.I haven’t regretted it.
Why do I even struggle for words. The Festival Hue defies description, you have to experience it! Check out the images and theVideo and go there in 2014!